Call nowC.V

3D Modelling Update: UV & Zbrush Workflow

Blog Entry 23/12/2016

Completion of UVs and 3DS Max to Zbrush workflow

So all of my three models have UVs sorted and within the 0-1 boundaries now,

some are discreet UVs while some are overlapping. The reason for overlapping

some of the models UVs was to save time and space, as most things were

symmetrical, meaning I could just flip the texture to the other side.  Over the

next week I want to go through the process of pre-export checks, and giving

final checks to see how the UVs wrap around the model, making sure the

texture is not stretched. Figure 1.(Image)


Figure 1. Battleship Front Section


To give myself some idea of the workflow of bringing my models into ZBrush from

3DS Max, I wanted to take a section of the battleship model and put it through a

mock texturing run. I started by exporting the section I would be working with

into ZBrush out of Max, making sure that it was turbo-smoothed Figure 2.

(Image) to ensure I wasn’t exporting tris and only quads, this to suit the way

ZBrush deals with the mesh.

Figure 2. Battleship Front Section Turbo-Smoothed


A few settings needed to be applied to the model after being imported to allow the

model to retain shape Figure 3.(Image) when subdividing the model those


-Geometry – Crease – CreaseAll

-Geometry – Turn SMT off

These two settings don’t allow the program to smooth and lose hard edges,

something I’m trying to keep. I can now successfully divide the mesh up to

around 16 million polys.

Figure 3. Mesh Imported Into Zbrush

To be able to poly paint onto the surface of the model, the model needs UVs, so I

ran through a checklist of things which ensure I am ready to paint. Figure 4.


-UV Map – Make sure delete UV button is highlighted(Means there’s UVs)

-UV Map – UV Map Size 4096

-PolyPaint – Colorize highlighted

-Top Tool Bar – Zadd Off

-Top Tool Bar – Rgb On

-Change the material ball to white

Figure 4. Mesh Ready for Painting

Now the model is in a position to be painted on.

For a quick and easy way of texturing quickly, I’m going to use the projection

tool to apply a wood texture to the model once again. I’m using the wood

texture for the same reasons when inside of 3DS Max, those being, that it helps

visualise any stretching of the texture and seeing if the detail of the wood

is successfully captured in the UVs. Figure 5.(Image) I kept switching between

Rgb and Zadd when using the projection tool, as I could grab some of the detail

and place it in the geometry using normal maps, baking it down onto the


Figure 5. Mesh With Projected Wood Texture Including Geometry Change Via Texture

After exporting both diffuse and normal maps, I pulled everything together into

Unity Figure 6&7.(Image) to get an idea of how the detail came through. I have

to say  I’m really pleased with how it came through, If I ensure the UVs are as

neat in the other sections I can be confident of similar results if not better for

the other sections when I’ll be able to spend much more time texturing them.

Figure 6. Battleship Front Section Imported Into Unity


Figure 7. Battleship Front Section In Unity With Applied Texture From Zbrush












← Previous post

Next post →

1 Comment

Leave a Reply